There was almost 13,000 representatives of the global sportfishing community converged on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. for the world’s largest sportfishing trade show. The 58th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), is the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry and is the showcase for the latest innovations in tackle, gear and accessories.
“This was, without a doubt, the biggest show that we have produced,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “Between the exhibitors, buyers and media, the response has been the same – this is an outstanding show. ICAST is our industry’s show. Our commitment to our member exhibitors, media and all show attendees is to listen and improve this show in any and every way we can.”
Nussman further said, “The Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, who was our State of the Industry Breakfast keynote speaker, had everyone fired up about the importance of teamwork and the importance of possessing a genuine appreciation for your work and always being and doing the best you can.”
Nussman also noted, “On Thursday afternoon, Florida Governor Rick Scott met with industry leaders in a round table discussion about being more effective in advocating for our sport and working to keep Florida the number one fishing and boating state in the U.S.”
Dave Bulthuis, ASA’s chairman of the Board and vice president of Sales for Costa, had this to say about the show. “By far, 2015 was the best show ever, and next year is going to be even better. I expect to see everyone in Orlando in 2016.”
Gregg Wollner, immediate past ASA board chairman and Rapala’s executive vice president echoed Bulthuis’ comments by saying that ICAST 2015 was the best show we’ve ever produced.
“I will echo what everyone else has said: this was a great show. The evolution of ICAST is one of the most exciting aspects of the show,” said Show Director Ken Andres. “We’ve gone from a three-day trade show to ICAST Week and Super Tuesday.”
Andres noted, “I can’t begin to tell you how gratified I am that the first Super Tuesday, with the ICAST On the Water product demonstrations, the ICAST Cup bass fishing tournament, the Bass & Birdies golf tournament and the world-class concert with Easton Corbin, really upped the excitement level for the show.”
“There is no doubt that the show will continue on this growth trajectory as it expands to appeal to everyone in the fishing industry and everyone who wants to do business in the fishing industry. And that means global as well as domestic,” concluded Andres.
“Social media exploded this year with more and more exhibitors, buyers and media using all the social media channels available to them to get the word out about their products and the show.” said ASA’s Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson. ”More than 7,000 people engaged with us on ICAST’s Facebook page this week, reaching more than 93,000 people and 107,000 people engaged with us on Twitter either through direct tweets or re-tweeting. The word got out there this week about this show!”